TOPEKA — Overtime heroics from Isaiah Creal-Musgray and Dante Brown helped Fort Hays State pull out a dramatic 41-38 win over Washburn on Saturday at Yager Stadium.
Creal-Musgray came down with an interception on Washburn’s possession in overtime and Brown sealed the win on a 30-yard field goal.
The Tigers (1-2) were in control late, up two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter before the game turned after FHSU starting quarterback Chance Fuller was sidelined after being slammed hard to the ground on a tackle.
Fuller went into concussion protocol and Washburn scored 17 straight points in his absence to take the lead, going in front on a 1-yard TD plunge from Percy Mitchell with 3:33 left.
But FHSU backup quarterback Voshon Waiters showed poise, leading the Tigers down to the 7-yard line to step up Brown’s game-tying 24-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
“At that time, our kids just kind of rallied around each other," FHSU coach Chris Brown said.
In overtime, the Ichabods converted on a fourth-down play to the Tigers 10. But on the next play, Creal-Musgray anticipated the route and snagged an interception.
“The play before, I had slipped and fell and gave them an easy slant,” Creal-Musgray said. “I figured they were going to come back to him and I just locked up and played my best defense. They came back to him, I saw it and it was a beautiful opportunity. I did what my coach told me to do, make big plays.”
"If you make a mistake, come back and make something else happen,” Chris Brown said. “That was a huge play for us. It gave us a great opportunity to kick a field goal. We know Dante’s leg’s good. We know we got a shot any time we get inside the 35-yard line.”
It was the Tigers’ first win at Washburn in games decided on the field since 1985. FHSU also earned a forfeit road win over WU in 1987.
Hazlett made nine grabs for 105 yards while Layne Bieberle made seven catches for 77.
The Tigers struck first after a methodical drive was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Charles Tigner.
WU answered on a 1-yard touchdown from Mitchell late in the quarter but FHSU came back with a 3-yard TD pass to Williams.
Washburn then seized the momentum thanks to two huge special-team plays. J.J. Letcher took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards to tie it.
FHSU muffed the next kickoff and WU capitalized with a 9-yard TD pass from Mitchell Schurig to Collin Wilson. The Tigers knotted it up again on Fuller’s 7-yard pass to Hazlett and the game was tied at 21 at the break.
Hazlett and Budke caught third-quarter touchdown passes from Fuller before WU’s fourth-quarter charge.
Waiters, a junior college transfer from Miami, finished 8 of 14 for 62 yards.
"Voshon did a great job," said Fort Hays State coach Chris Brown, a former Washburn assistant. "That's hard to do. You've got a little bit of a lead and you lose the lead and you come back. He's a gutsy guy and that's the way he plays the game in practice, too.
"He's out there to make a statement for himself. He got himself ready and that showed when he stepped on the field that he was ready to go and understood exactly what he had to do."
Fuller was enjoying arguably his best game as a Tiger before leaving after the hit. He completed 23 of 31 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns, throwing two TDS to Harley Hazlett and one each to Hunter Budke and Jacoby Williams.
“We’ll get Chance back in a week or so,” Chris Brown said. “We’ll keep grinding with Vashon.”
Check Tuesday’s print edition and hdnews.net for a full recap of the Tigers’ win.
FORT HAYS STATE 41, WASHBURN 38 (OT)
Fort Hays State (1-2, 1-2);7;14;14;3;3;—;41
Washburn (1-2, 1-2);7;14;0;17;0;—;38
FHSU — Tigner 14 run (Brown kick), 10:41.
WU — Mitchell 1 run (Lake kick), 0:22.
FHSU — Williams 3 pass from Fuller (Brown kick), 10:27.
WU — Letcher 100 kickoff return (Lake kick), 10:07.
WU — Wilson 9 pass from Schurig (Lake kick), 5:05.
FHSU — Hazlett 7 pass from Fuller (Brown kick), 3:25.
FHSU — Hazlett 33 pass from Fuller (Brown kick), 6:30.
FHSU — Budke 18 pass from Fuller (Brown kick), 1:36.
WU — Wilson 56 pass from Schurig (Lake kick), 12:35.
WU — Lake 26 FG
WU — Mitchell 2 run (Lake kick)
FHSU — Brown 24 FG
FHSU — Brown 30 FG
RUSHING — Fort Hays State: Tigner 27-125, Hazlett 5-29, Waiters 5-13, Tutson 4-5, Fuller 2-(minus)-11. Washburn: Willis 11-67, Peters 14-44, Schurig 2-15, Mitchell 8-10, Browning 1-5, Trapp 3-(minus)-2, Team 1-(minus)-1.
PASSING — Fort Hays State: Fuller 23-31-0, 271; Waiters 8-13-0, 62. Washburn: Schurig 18-38-3, 239 yards.
RECEIVING — Fort Hays State: Hazlett 9-105, Bieberle 6-77, Ramsey 4-43, Tigner 3-27, Tutson 2-26, Budke 2-24, Jay 2-13, Williams 2-8, Reed 1-10. Washburn: Letcher 4-45, Peters 4-33, Wilson 3-77, Williams 3-58, Meier 2-20, Hubert 2-6.
PUNTING — Fort Hays State: Donald 4-33.8. Washburn: Spiker 4-36.2.
“I thought our kids played really, really hard today,” Chris Brown said. “Most physical game we’ve played all year long. Guys flying around on both sides of the ball.”
“We’ll get Chance back in a week or so,” Brown said. “We’ll keep grinding with Vashon.
“At that time, our kids just kind of rallied around each other.
“He was beat the play before,” Creal-Musgray said. “We needed him to step up and make a play and he did. If you make a mistake, come back and make something else happen. That was a huge play for us. It gave us a great opportunity to kick a field goal. We know Dante’s leg’s good. We know we got a shot any time we get inside the 35-yard line.”